April 12, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4/12/15

OPENINGS:  THE LONGEST RIDE (20th) tried to counterprogram Furious 7 with a Nicholas Sparks romance, but didn’t even muss the blockbuster’s hair with a $13.5M opening.  That’s better than the lousy $10M start for last year’s Sparks adaptation The Best Of Me, and that’s the sum total of the positives in the context of other Sparks openings like The Last Song‘s $16M, Safe Haven‘s $21.4M, and The Lucky One‘s $22.5M, let alone Dear John‘s $30.5M.  The one thing Longest Ride has going for it is a free week before The Age of Adeline comes after its audience on April 24.

WOMAN IN GOLD (Weinstein) expanded to a 1504-theatre wide release with a fair $5.9M start.  That’s below the $8.5M opening for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and on a per-theatre basis, its $3900 average is below the $4400 that Philomena averaged when it widened to 835 theatres.  However, its aging audience doesn’t throng multiplexes on opening weekend, so it could linger for a while and accumulate a moderate total.

DANNY COLLINS (Bleecker Street) also expanded in search of a non-car-crash audience, but its 739-theatre weekend was weaker at $1.6M, a mediocre $2200 average that was 2d worst in the Top 10.  Like Woman In Gold, though, its target audience may keep it around for a while.

HOLDOVERS:  With no challengers to speak of, FURIOUS 7 (Universal) had a fine hold for a blockbuster, down 59% for $60.6M, giving it $252.5M in the US.  That was better than the 64% Weekend 2 drop for Fast & Furious 6, although that was coming off Memorial Day weekend, so the comparisons aren’t equal.  More exciting was the movie’s overseas performance, where it earned an incredible $68.6M in a single day of China release, pacing a $195M international weekend that put it at $550M outside the US and $800.5M worldwide.  The question now is how much over $1B it’s going to go–$1.25B is quite possible, which would make it #6 of all time.

It was a long way down to HOME (DreamWorks Animation/20th) in 2d place with $19M, but that movie is benefiting mightily from a lack of new family fare in theatres, down just 30% from last weekend with a $129.6M US total.  (Real competition arrives Friday with the Paul Blart sequel.)  It added $15.2M overseas for a less exciting $111M total, although there are still some major territories to come.

CINDERELLA (Disney), too, is enjoying a lengthy run, down 29% from last weekend to $7.2M for the weekend and a $180.8M total in the US.  Overseas, it added $12.6M for a $256M total, with Japan still to open.  It seems very likely to top $500M worldwide, which would put it below Alice in Wonderland‘s $1B and Maleficent‘s $758.4M, but roughly in the same place as Oz The Great and Powerful‘s $493.3M (which cost more to produce).

GET HARD (RatPac Dune/Warners), the only adult comedy around, fell just 34% from last weekend to $8.6M, and with $71.2M in the bank, has a shot at reaching $90M.  INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) also held well, down 32% to $6.9M and a $114.8M US total.  Overseas, Insurgent took in $7.9M, giving it a $135.3M total that reflects every major territory except China (which wasn’t a very strong market for Divergent).   Depending on the China result, Insurgent should reach $300M worldwide, just about the same as Divergent‘s $288.8M despite higher production costs and the addition of premium 3D and IMAX ticket prices.

IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) is finally showing the word-of-mouth its studio has been touting from the start, down a mere 19% to $2M.  That still gives it a mild $11.8M total, however, and with a new horror movie opening on Friday, it’s still hard to see how the critically-acclaimed thriller can get past $20M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Thinking of critically-acclaimed thrillers, EX MACHINA (A24) had a superb start for an arrival without major stars or a bankable director, averaging $62.5K at 4 NY/LA theatres.  A wide release is going to be tricky, but there is sleeper potential here.  WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (A24) expanded fairly well to 248 theatres with a $5600 average.  That’s better than the $2300 average for Frances Ha when it reached 233 theatres, and on par with the $5600 average Greenberg had at 181 theatres.  Despite critical rhapsodies, CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (IFC) managed a moderate $23.3K average at 3 NY/LA theatres.  DESERT DANCER (Relativity) fared much worse with a $1900 average at 23 theatres.  WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Paladin) continues to hold extremely well, down 15% from last weekend despite losing about 10% of its theatres and with a total of almost $3M so far.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Furious 7 still has something of a free pass, as the other studios cater to family audiences with PAUL BLART:  MALL COP 2 (Sony/MGM) (which earned $2.6M this weekend in a few European territories) and MONKEY KINGDOM (Disney), and the teen horror crowd with UNFRIENDED (Universal)TRUE STORY (Fox Searchlight) and CHILD 44 (Summit/Lionsgate) will have mid-sized openings in about 500 theatres each.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."